Tortricidae

Rhyacionia pinicolana
Rhyacionia pinicolana

Torticidae is the largest and most diverse group of microlepidoptera with over 6,000 species worldwide, and up to 399 species in Britain belonging to the superfamily Tortricoidea. The caterpillars of these Tortrix moths live in rolled-up leaves or flowers held together with silken threads, hence they are know as “leafrollers”. This way they feed safely protected from predators. Some of these are considered serious pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, causing major damage to a wide variety of crops, including fruit of all kinds, tea and coffee, cereals and cotton. The Colding Moth, by example, causes serious damage to apples and pears, the larvae boring into and eating the fruit.

The moths featured in this post belong to the subfamily Olethreutinae.

Codling Moth Cydia pomonella
Codling Moth Cydia pomonella
Bud Moth Spilonota ocellana
Bud Moth Spilonota ocellana
Eudemis profundana
Eudemis profundana
Gypsonoma sociana
Gypsonoma sociana
Epiblema costipunctana
Epiblema costipunctana

All photographs taken in 2011, rear garden, Staffordshire, except for last image taken in local field. © Pete Hillman 2011.

Light Brown Apple Moth

Epiphyas postvittana

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

I often come across this Tortrix moth on spring or summer evenings as it flitters about my garden, particularly around my small Crab Apple tree. It is a very variable species, ranging from quite plain to dark patterned. Forewing length 7 to 12mm.

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

Flies May  to October in two generations, and seen in all places. This Naturalised Australian moth was first recorded in Cornwall in the 1930s. Abundant and expanding its range north.

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

The caterpillars are polyphagus, where they will eat any vegetation, and may be a serious pest in fruit orchards.

Photographs of Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana), taken May 2014,  rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.


About this family of moths: Tortricidae – Tortrix Moths

This is the largest and most diverse group of microlepidoptera with over 6,000 species worldwide, and up to 399 species in Britain belonging to the superfamily Tortricoidea. The caterpillars of these Tortrix moths live in rolled-up leaves or flowers held together with silken threads, hence they are known as “leafrollers”. This way they feed safely protected from predators. Some of these are considered serious pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, causing major damage to a wide variety of crops, including fruit of all kinds, tea and coffee, cereals and cotton. The Colding Moth, by example, causes serious damage to apples and pears, the larvae boring into and eating the fruit.

There are 3 subfamilies called Chlidanotinae, Tortricinae, and Olethreutinae under Tortricidae.

Celypha striana

Celypha striana

A brownish moth with a distinct brown cross-band. Forewing length 7 to 10mm.

Celypha striana

It flies June to August, and inhabits grassland. A common and widespread species in southern Britain, becoming less so further north.

The caterpillar feeds on the roots of Dandelion.

Photographs of Celypha striana, taken June 2015, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2015. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Common Yellow Conch


Agapeta hamana – This is one of my favourite Tortrix moths. It has a pale, creamy- yellow ground colour with distinct dark brown markings.


Agapeta hamana


Agapeta hamana


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D3200
Date taken: 11th July 2015
Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire


 

White-foot Bell


Epiblema foenella – A very distinctive moth with its whitish angular horseshoe shape marking, although this may vary. This was the first time I have seen this moth, and I couldn’t resist photographing it.


Epiblema foenella


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D3200
Date taken: 11th July 2015
Place: Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire